White Smoke at the Rio: Pope Leads Final Table With Half of Chips
On Friday, 28 of the original 481 players returned for Day 3 of Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Eight Handed). After roughly six and a half levels of play, only eight players remain, and leading the official final table with nearly half of the chips in play is Trevor Pope. Pope bagged an astounding 3,420,000 chips (more than four times the average stack and more than five times his nearest competitor), and will be looking for his first career World Series of Poker bracelet on Saturday.
The first four players to bust, prompting a three-table redraw, were Garen Nichanian, Tony Gargano, Kai Chang, and David “Doc” Sands. Sands three-bet shoved with ace-deuce suited, only to be called by Rafal Michalowski, the original raiser. He had two red nines, and the hand held up.
David Diaz. Ben Yu, and Matthew Parry were the next three players to bust, and then Jamie Armstrong won a massive pot against Kristijonas Andrulis. Armstrong five-bet shoved with aces, Andrulis called with ace-king, and the aces were not cracked. Andrulis was left with just a single big blind, but proceeded to triple, then double, then double again.
While Andrulis was on his tear, we lost Keith Lehr, Peter Gould, Ben Hamnett, Mike DeGilio, and Joe Serock. Serock lost consecutive hands with ace-queen against ace-ten, and busted right before the two-table redraw.
Griffin Benger then exited in 16th place, followed by Chris DeMaci, Brian Rast, Markus Gonsalves, and Ismael Bojang. Bojang found himself all in and at risk with ace-king against the pocket aces of Pope. Pope held, increasing his stack to 1.7 million chips, while Bojang hit the rail.
Andrulis’ run came to an end at that point, as he lost a race to Darryll Fish. He was all in with two red sevens against Fish’s ace-jack of spades, and the turn was an ace. Andrulis couldn’t make a set on the river, and exited in 11th place ($29,502).
Tom Marchese doubled up Gonsalves in Level 22, then lost a race for his tournament life in Level 23. After switching tables due to Andrulis’ bust, he called a shove from Jamie Armstrong holding ace-king of diamonds. Armstrong tabled two eights, and held as the board produced blanks, sending Marchese home in 10th place.
Pope began nine-handed play with 1.7 million chips, and chipped up to well over two million. On the final hand of the day, he eliminated the start-of-day chip leader Rafal Michalowski to push his stack to over three million. Michalowski six-bet shoved for over 700,000 chips with queens, and Pope snapped it off with aces. The aces held, and Michalowski exited just short of the official final table.
Here’s a look at the entire final table:
The eight remaining players will return tomorrow at 2 p.m. local time to play down to a winner. The final table will be streamed on a half hour delay with hole cards, and we will of course be bringing you all of the updates right here on PokerNews.